Doctors and Diadems

Spring 2014

Some wore Speedos. Others wore more. G. Patrick, a second-year med student, was clad in a leotard and legwarmers as he danced across the stage in Scaife Hall’s fourth-floor auditorium this February. At one point, in homage to the famous Flashdance moment, he dumped a bucket of water (well, blue confetti) on himself. We are speaking, of course, of the Swimsuit Competition.

Mr. Pitt Med, a beauty (cough-cough) pageant, has become the school’s largest annual student-run fundraiser, says Liny John, a fourth-year who’s long been involved with the event’s organization. This year, the students pulled in $1,900; proceeds will go to the International Health Initiative to support global health organizations with med student ties.

The eight contestants tried—with brawn, brains, and bits—to win over the crowd (some 250 fellow students) and four panelists, School of Medicine profs with an eye for showmanship like Georgia Duker, PhD prof in the Department of Cell Biology. Her husband, MD professor of medicine Jamie Johnston, emceed the event.

So: Swimsuit portion. Eveningwear. Talent. (During which third-year Kyle Duff sang theme songs to Saturday morning cartoons in his pajamas.) Group dance. (Those who witnessed it will never hear Lady Gaga’s “Applause” the same way again.) Q&A. (Which focused on contestant aspirations should they be named Mr. Pitt Med; fixing the broken coffee machine in the student lounge was a popular answer.)

West Mori, a first-year who put on a stunning rendition of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies,” was named Mr. Congeniality after hauling in the most audience donations. But it was chiseled-jawed Ben Rothrauff, a fourth-year, who took home the title. His Magic Mike routine, garnished with backflips and push-ups, won the panel, and probably a couple of hearts.

Patrick walked away with some confetti in his hair but no crown. “I’m not salty,” he says, sincerely. “I had fun and left it all on the stage. But maybe I’ll wear shorts next time.”

Photos by Megan Wolf and Elizabeth Oczypak